LED Light Buying Guide 1mbedewy2022-04-25T21:59:42+02:00
People have been transitioning from traditional sources of lighting to new, efficient and safer ones for some time now.
This new trend meant saying goodbye to some much loved traditional lighting bulbs like the incandescent 100W, 70W, 60W, and 40W.
Now that traditional bulbs are being phased out, new-age LED bulbs are taking their place.
However, this transition hasn’t been a smooth one.
While we used watt information to judge the power and luminosity of incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, LEDs follow a different scale.
You now need to know about Lumen information to gauge the power and intensity of a bulb.
This is the reason why choosing the right LED lighting product can be a daunting task.
What Kinds of Lighting Options Can You Choose From?
Though LED lighting products are the most efficient way to light your space and projects, they aren’t the only way. Even incandescent technology has improved to include bulbs that offer great luminosity while consuming less energy and leaving a smaller carbon footprint.
Before we jump into the details of the different lighting options you can choose from, here is a price comparison chart to help you see the bigger picture.
|Estimated Lifespan||25,000 Hours||10,000 Hours||1200 Hours|
|Watts Per Bulb||8.5W||14W||60W|
|Cost Per Bulb||$5||$2||$1|
|Number Of Bulbs Needed|
For 25,000 Hours Of Use
|KWh Of Electricity Used|
Over 25,000 Hours
|Total Cost Of Electricity For|
(@0.10 per KWh)
This chart is helpful in seeing that even though LED light bulbs have a greater cost up front, they save you tons of money in electricity bills and replacement costs later.
If we ask you to imagine holding a bulb, you’ll probably think of an incandescent one. This traditional source of light has been in use for ages. Ever since Thomas Edison invented it, the incandescent bulb has been working the exact same way. Electricity heats a tungsten filament encased in a glass dome making it glow.
Incandescents ruled the world of lighting until the advent of more sophisticated lighting technology like LED. Now most traditional bulbs have already been phased out. However, incandescents aren’t dead yet. You can still find some non-traditional versions of these bulbs available in the market. Manufacturers are always looking to tweak the initial design to make them more efficient and environment-friendly.
Compact fluorescent lights or CFLs were introduced as a great alternative to incandescents before LEDs hit the market. CFLs consume less energy than incandescents and are more cost effective. They are shaped like an incandescent bulb and used the same standards for determining energy and luminosity requirements. It seemed that they would be great for transitioning to more efficient forms of lighting. However, they didn’t make as big a splash in the market as desired.
The main reason for that is the color temperature of the bulbs. The cool white light didn’t attract a lot of people. Also, these bulbs tend to require a lot of maintenance. For example, you can’t turn them off and on for shorter periods of time because that decreases their life expectancy significantly. They also take some time to reach their full luminosity when turned on. There hasn’t been a lot of research and development on CFLs making them non-dimmable. In today’s day of smart lighting technology, CFLs simply can’t compete.
For people who are not ready to jump on the LED or CFL bandwagon, halogen lighting is the answer. Halogen bulbs look just like incandescent ones, they just have halogen gas in the glass dome surrounding the tungsten filament. This gas helps to push the burnt up tungsten back into the filament so that it burns for longer.
Halogens provide the same amount of luminosity as incandescents while being slightly more efficient. This makes them a more desirable option for people who don’t like the color produced by CFLs. Also, CFL bulbs contain traces of mercury, that is harmful to you and the environment. Halogen gas isn’t hazardous at all which makes Halogen bulbs more environment-friendly.
We saved the best for last. LED lighting technology is eons ahead of any other lighting option. Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs are mounted on a microchip and illuminate when electrical current passes through them. The actual process is not that simple, you can learn more about it here.
LED lights are 90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs because they require much less energy to work. They also don’t emit heat the same way as traditional sources of lighting. That makes them last longer and environment-friendly. According to Energy Star and Illuminating Engineering, LED lights are supposed to last for decades. This is because they don’t burn out like traditional sources of light. Instead they under a phenomenon called “lumen depreciation”.
According to this phenomenon, LEDs get dimmer and dimmer over a period of time. Engineers test LEDs for 9 months straight to see when the LEDs will start producing light at 70% of their original brightness. This point is called the “L70” and it is the current standard used to measure the longevity of LED lights. This means that if a LED light says that it will last for 25,000 hours, its really saying that the bulb will last for 25,000 hours to fade to 70% of its brightness.
Why is LED the Best Lighting Option?
- Energy Efficient
- Led lights can are 90% more energy efficient than traditional sources of lighting
- Cost Effective
- LED lights consume less energy,last for longer,and don’t require maintenance saving you lots of money in the long run
- Environment Friendly
- LED lights are not made of harmful materials and have a very small carboon footprint making them safe for the environment
- LED lights can be used to light spaces that traditional sources of light cannot reach. They can also be used as grow lights for your plants
- A single LED bulb can last you 25,000 hours giving a hassle-free lighting solution
What are the Different Types of LED Lights?
LED Light Strips
As the name indicates, LED light strips feature a tape that has LEDs and other components mounted on it. LED light strips come in different shapes and sizes. They are extremely versatile. You can use them to light tight spaces and unusual corners. They are also great as grow lights for your plants.
LED light strips are available in different formats:
Flexible LED light strips give you the freedom to easily light any space you want. LED strip lights like 5050 and 3528 can also be used creatively to light your events and projects. These strips come with adhesives on the back so installing them is fairly simple. You can stick them onto any flat surface easily. You can also use LED aluminum mounts to mount the strips on any surface you want. For its flexibility, you can even use the LED strips to present your robotic welding machine price in a trade show. This would definitely attract a lot clients to visit your booth.
Rigid LED light strips are great for commercial and industrial lighting. If you are the company that manufactures industrial robots for sale, and want to extinguish your industrial robots in the exhibition, you could use rigid LED strips to decorate your booth. These strips can also be easily mounted on any surface. These light strips are weatherproof so they are perfect for lighting outdoor spaces, events, and projects.
LED Light Panels
LED light panels feature a number of LED light strips grouped together to make a panel. These panels are available in different shapes. But the most common shapes are square and rectangle LED light panels. LED light panels are used to light small and large spaces like events and stadiums.
Flexible LED light panels are famous among filmmakers and cinematographers for lighting videos and movies. This is because they are easy to carry and store. You can also make these panels yourself by combining different LED light strips together. This makes them very versatile as you can control the shape, color, and brightness of your light panels.
LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs are the most common type of LED lights found in the market. You can find LED light bulbs in different shapes like candle, luster, spiral, globe, and more. They are also available in different colors and brightness. Dimmable bulbs let you control their brightness so you can adjust the lighting of your space according to your mood.
What Factors Should I Consider Before Buying LED Lights?
The wide variety of LED products can make it hard for you to choose the best one for your space or project. To make the process as hassle-free as possible, we have put together a list of factors that you should consider before buying LED lights.
The most daunting aspect of transitioning to LED technology is that it has different technical parameters than traditional sources of lighting. For example, before LED technology, the brightness of a bulb was measured by its power draw (its wattage requirement). For LEDs we use lumens to do the same.
This can be confusing when you’re trying to figure out what kind of LED light you need to buy to replace an incandescent or CFL one. Take a look at this chart, where we break down that information for your convenience.
|Light Output (Lumens)||Power Draw (Watts)|
This means if you want to replace a 40W incandescent bulb, you need to buy a LED bulb that has 450 lumens and a power draw of 4-5W.
But what exactly are lumens and why are they important? Also, what other technical factors do you need to consider to choose the best LED light for your need? Read on to find out.
Lumens are used to measure the brightness of LED lights. The word ‘lumen’ is derived from the luminous flux that measures the total light produced by an LED. The lumens of a LED light are expressed in numbers ranging from 200 up to 3000 (or more) followed by the abbreviation ‘lm’.
LEDs use lumens instead of watts as a metric for measuring brightness because they don’t require nearly as much energy to run as traditional sources of light. For example, a 100W incandescent bulb is considered to be bright enough to light a large room. Since LED lights require considerably less energy a 100W LED light may be able to light an entire stadium.
Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)
A great advantage of transitioning to LED lights is that you can actually choose the right color temperature to light your space. Correlated Color Temperature or CCT information indicates the warmness or coolness of your LED lights. CCT is measured in Kelvins (K). Warm white light has a lower Kelvin rating while cool white light has a higher Kelvin rating.
Kelvin rating is in numbers ranging from 2000 to 7000. Candlelight has a Kelvin rating of 1500 while clear blue sky has a Kelvin rating of 10,000. Kelvin rating will tell you the actual color your LED light will produce. Take a look at the chart below to see how Kelvin rating can help you choose the right LED light.
|LED Light Strip CCT||Light Appearance||Ambiance||Recommended Application|
|2000K – 3000K||Warm White||Cozy, Intimate,|
|living rooms, bedrooms,|
waiting areas, lobbies, table,
and floor lamps
|3100K – 4500K||Cool White||Bright, Vibrant||kitchens, offices, commercial|
spaces, basements, elevators,
|5000K – 6000K||Daylight||Crisp, Invigorating||garages, bathrooms, display|
areas, industrial spaces,
Color Rendering Index (CRI)
Another technical specification you should keep an eye out for is the Color Rendering Index or CRI of LED lights. CRI tells you how objects look under a light source as compared to what they look like under sunlight. A higher CRI means more clarity and vividness. LED lights have a higher CRI than CFLs and other traditional sources of light.
The final technical specification you need to consider is the energy rating of the LED lights. The energy rating for each LED light is measured in Watts (W). LEDs consume considerably less energy than traditional sources of light. However, you still need the wattage information to see whether the LED light you choose is compatible with your power source or not.
Size and Shape
You can find LED products in many different shapes and sizes. For LED bulbs, you can choose shapes like candle, spot, globe, linear, spiral, and more. For LED panels you have square, rectangle, oblong, and even circle and oval shapes available. You can find each of these shapes in different sizes as well. So you have the freedom to choose the shape and size that fit your space and project. For example, you could choose shapes like linear and spiral to decorate your garden. Besides, it is also recommended that you set the warm color as it’s easier to create an atmosphere and is more aligned with friendship garden quotes.
It is important to consider how you are going to install your LED light.
You can easily install LED light bulbs in lamps and fixtures around the house.
Or you can install with aluminum profiles for LED. However, it gets trickier if you have to install LED bulbs for recessed lighting or in-built fixtures.
Flexible LED light strips have adhesives on the back so they can easily stick to any flat surface.
All these questions will determine the kind of LED product that is best for you. For example, not all LED light products are geared toward smart control. So, if you were looking to control the lights in your home with your smartphone or Alexa, you will need to install compatible LED products.
How to Choose the Best LED Product for Your Lighting Project?
The space or project you want to light will determine the shape, size, color, and type of LED light you need.
But here is the catch, you can use different LED lights interchangeably. So, which LED light is the best one for your lighting project?
There are many ways to answer that question. Here are some points to ponder:
- Type of Space:Residential spaces can be lit using LED light bulbs and LED light strips. LED light panels might seem a little out of place when lighting your homes (unless they are used in recessed lighting and installed into walls). Industrial spaces with high-accuracy pick n place robot usually need more light so they use LED strips and panels to make sure they are well lit. The same is true for commercial spaces. However, some shops and stalls can also use LED light bulbs to showcase their products.
- Size of Space:LED light panels take more space to install. Whether mounted on a stand or installed in the wall, LED light panels are suitable to light larger rooms and spaces. LED light bulbs can be conveniently installed in fixtures and lamps so you don’t really have to worry about the size of the room. However, bear in mind that larger spaces will require a greater number of bulbs to light. LED light strips are the most versatile in this case, they can be used to light large spaces and small. You can also install them to light unusual spaces like nooks and crannies.
- Power Supply:LED light bulbs are powered by the electrical connection of the fixture they are connected to. So, you don’t have to worry about connecting them to power separately. LED light panels will need to be connected to a suitable power source like a plug-in or battery. If they are being installed in your wall, they will need to be connected to the main power supply. The same is true for LED light strips. You can power them through a battery, connect them to a plug, or hard-wire them to your main power supply.
- Ease of Installation:If you’re going to be installing the LED lights yourself, bulbs are the easiest to install. LED panels mounted on stands are simple to set-up and so are flexible LED light strips. You might need to call in professional help for installing LED panels in walls and mounting LED light strips with profiles.
- Budget:The type of LED product you choose depends on how much you are willing to spend on a project. For example, a large warehouse can be lit using LED bulbs, panels, or strips. You will a greater number of LED bulbs to light the space, so there is a larger upfront cost. Also, you will need to install fixtures for the bulbs. LED light panels can be mounted on stands and will cost much less. You will need lesser panels since they can produce more light. However, they will need more space. If you install them in the walls, you will need to pay for a professional to do it. You can install LED light strips to the walls yourself, if the walls are smooth. If they aren’t, you will need to mount the strips which will cost extra. When choosing an LED product based on your budget, factor in the cost of purchasing, installing, and energy to get an exact picture of the overall expenditure.
- Personal Preference:Finally, the type of LED light you choose depends on what you like. If you are more prone to using bulbs than that is the way to go. If you feel more comfortable using LED light panels than that is what you should choose. LED light strips can offer great versatility and are easy to use and customize. If you don’t really have a preference, they are a good option to choose.
|Types of LED Lights||Recommended Uses|
|LED Light Strip||Under-cabinet lighting,|
|Display case lighting,|
shelf lighting, task
|Workbench lighting, task|
lighting, grow lighting,
|LED Light Panel||Recessed lighting,|
display area lighting,
|LED Light Bulb||Mood lighting,|
wall fixture lights
|Wall fixture lights,|
display case lighting
Choosing the best LED light product can be a harrowing process if you don’t break it down into workable steps.
The sheer variety of LED lights on the market can be overwhelming but if you focus your search you can find the right product.
There is no doubt that the future of light is LED technology.
So make the transition today.
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